Orphaned (lost) albums: iTunes to Sonos

Forgive me if this isn't the best/right place to ask a question.
I'm a newbie to this community.

A few of my albums in iTunes simply do not EVER get recognized (found) in Sonos despite them being within music folders shown to be added in the "Music Library Settings."

For example, I've got an "album" of "Pearl Jam Live Covers," every song of which is within the "(F:) > iTunes > Music > Pearl Jam" folder in my PC according to Windows Explorer. Despite the music folder "F:\iTunes\Music" being designated from Day#1 as being in "My Music Folders on Sonos," this album never shows up in Sonos.

Any suggestions? Any way to get Sonos to recognize a *specific* album?

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19 replies

Check in the Folders view in the Sonos music library. If it appears there then it's a tagging issue. Please post back.
Using the Sonos controller, when I check under "Folders" in the "Music Library," I see "//DESKTOP-8G8MLAA/Music" & "//DESKTOP-8G8MLAA/iTunes Media." (For whatever reason, within the 2nd folder is a minority of my music. No Pearl Jam.)

Within the first folder is most of my music (arranged by artists), but under "Pearl Jam" there are all my iTunes albums EXCEPT the live compilation I'm looking for. (I.e., it's NOT there.)
More info (? helpful): I copied the album to a folder on my PC desktop, then deleted it in my iTunes library. I then imported the album into iTunes (so it would appear as "Recently Added" because all my other, recently added music seems to make it to Sonos!) and ALSO listed it as a separate "playlist." Sadly, again, after updating my Sonos music library it STILL doesn't appear in the Sonos folders, or as a recognized album, or as an "Imported Playlist."
Hi again. When setting up your Sonos music library, did you select to define it as iTunes Library, or did you browse for the folder? If you haven't tried already, try deleting the folder share currently in your Sonos music library, then re-add the folder where you know the album is stored by browsing to it. See what you get in Sonos then.
Thanks, JB. I can't recall if *I* browsed & selected the two folders where my music is or if Sonos magically found 'em for me. Just so I'm clear, you're suggesting that I delete those two (correct) folders in my Sonos music library, then simply browse for & add them back in? Even though they're currently listed?
You say they are correct but it wasn't clear to me that that was the case from the paths in the Folders view.

Remind me again why you have two folders?
I would remove the library path(s) from the Sonos App. Then rename the computer on which the library is stored. Looks like it is currently called DESKTOP-8G8MLAA. So change it to something that has no special characters in it, like a '-’ (dash) and keeping it to less than 15 letters and numbers only. Then re-add the library paths in the Sonos App, re-index and see if that fixes the problem. I think the special character in your computer name maybe the cause of the issue.
Hi Ken. You may be correct, but I thought the 15 character limitation etc was relevant to Macs rather than Windows PCs, and I would expect it to cause the whole folder to be unrecognised if a problem, not just for a few albums to go missing. But I may be wrong.

I am wondering why the paths in the Sonos Folders view do not match the paths originally stated by the OP, assuming that the desktop name maps to drive F:.
John B

The netbios name does apply to Windows too as explained in this Microsoft document:

Whist RayBob's computer name is fine with its 15 characters, I suspect the dash is perhaps the cause of issue. I appreciate that it doesn't explain why some folders are seen and not others, but I thought it was a good place to start the problem solving... removing the library path(s) and re-adding them too, after renaming the computer, should also ensure the path to the required libraries/folders are correct,assuming RayBob takes your advice of actually 'browsing' to the folder(s) required.

Then, once the libraries are then re-indexed my thoughts were that would resolve things... if not, at least i would have established it was not a netbios issue.

Hope that makes a bit more sense of the reason for my suggestions above.
I tend to agree that the name resolution issue should be an all-or-nothing affair.

@RayBob: What format are the missing files? If they're MP3, which metadata version? (I recall Sonos having sporadic issues with ID2v2.4.) And what bit depth and sampling rate?

Yes, good point and if RayBob has an Apple 'iTunes Match' annual subscription, he can perhaps remove/backup and replace the affected tracks with the Apple AAC format of each song, which he is entitled to get from their servers... assuming the songs are available in their vast iTunes Cloud.

This useful feature is available in the Apple iTunes software on the PC itself and is much quicker than any track-conversion process, assuming RayBob has a reasonable internet connection. The tracks downloaded are also 256 bit DRM free.

At least if he has the 'match' subscription it can be a quick test that can be tried to see if it resolves the missing track issue.
Ratty's query about song file formats may have given us the answer, though I'm far too naive about this stuff to say!

I don't know shit about "formats", "metadata versions", "bit depths" or "sampling rates" -- but the two albums that I recently realized were in my iTunes but somehow never make it over to the Sonos library BOTH have song files identified (under "Get Info", then the "File" tab) as "Protected AAC audio file".

Is that "protected" designation explain the issue & my frustration? I don't know how to search for other song files in iTunes that might also be "protected AAC audio files" (to see if they, also, are unrecognized by Sonos) so I don't know how to test this hypothesis.
RayBob.. they are protected tracks, meaning they have Apples encryption/digital rights built into them. You can only play those on your apple-authorised subscription apps/devices... meaning, in very simple terms, that you need to show you are an Apple Music subscriber and are logged onto the Apple servers with your AppleID and password that will check and authorise your account to play them.

Assuming you are still an Apple Music monthly subscriber, you will be able to play the tracks via your Apple Music Service plugin added to your Sonos App, rather that direct from your local library. That's assuming it was your account that leased the tracks from Apple to begin with. Either way, if you are a subscriber, you will be able to play them via the Apple Service. In effect, those tracks are not owned by you, but belong to Apple and you are leasing them for as long as you are a subscriber and are able to login to prove that is the case.
I think actually it would be a useful feature to have a toggle switch in the Sonos App Settings/Manage Music Library show/hide the tracks that are not capable of being played, whether that be due to their format or digital rights etc.

At the moment the tracks are faded, but still visible and not selectable, but I think it would be good to hide them by default to prevent confusion...that's if it's possible to do that?

Advanced users who then wanted to see their non-playable tracks can then go to settings and 'flick the switch'.
I don't believe I was ever an "Apple Music subscriber," and I *think* I legitimately (legally) bought these "protected" tracks off iTunes about a decade ago. They play just fine within iTunes.

I just called Apple, and the dude there *thinks* (he admitted that he wasn't sure) I could subscribe to "iTunes Match" ($25/month) and these protected song files would then be accessible to (playable on) Sonos. He also *thinks* I could then quit iTunes Match & these files would remain accessible. He's gonna send me some info via email...
Badge +1
I don't believe I was ever an "Apple Music subscriber," and I *think* I legitimately (legally) bought these "protected" tracks off iTunes about a decade ago. They play just fine within iTunes.

I just called Apple, and the dude there *thinks* (he admitted that he wasn't sure) I could subscribe to "iTunes Match" ($25/month) and these protected song files would then be accessible to (playable on) Sonos. He also *thinks* I could then quit iTunes Match & these files would remain accessible. He's gonna send me some info via email...

So...., roughly a decade ago is right when Apple started switching from DRM protected tracks to DRM-free tracks (check the date on this article):

So if you subscribe to iTunes Match and update your library/tracks, these should be converted to DRM free files. Once upon a time there was a fee you could pay per track to update, I think. It might have worked out cheaper, but I don't know the current situation.
Yes, it's true that a long time ago the tracks from Apple iTunes were all subject to DRM and after complaints Apple eventually relented and made all purchases DRM Free. All except those leased vial Apple Music of course.

I would get back to Apple support and ask this question, if you are able to download previously purchased tracks again from their iTunes Store and would the new download now be DRM free, which I think they will be.

I know you can download previously purchased apps and films etc. but I'm not sure if you can do that for albums purchased, or ones purchased a long time ago.

iTunes Match at a cost of £21.99 per year is worth it and tracks are DRM free, but there are these limitations, as follows:

iTunes Match is limited to 100,000 songs.
iTunes Store purchases made with the same Apple ID being used for iTunes Match don't count towards the 100,000 song limit.
Unmatched content is uploaded as is. Upload time varies depending on the amounts uploaded and local network speeds.
Song files larger than 200 MB won't upload to iCloud.
Song files longer than two hours in length won't upload to iCloud.
Songs containing DRM (Digital Rights Management) won't match or upload to iCloud unless your computer is authorized for playback of that content.
After you subscribe to iTunes Match, Genius associates information about your iTunes library with your Apple ID. You can't disable Genius while using iTunes Match.

About file formats:

If you have songs encoded in ALAC, WAV, or AIFF formats, we create an AAC 256Kbps version and upload it to iCloud so that it can be played on all of your other devices. Your original music file remains untouched on your Mac or PC.
Songs encoded in AAC or MP3 formats that don't meet certain quality criteria aren't matched or uploaded to iCloud.
Songs encoded as MP3 or AAC that have been matched to the iTunes Store are made available for download as 256 kbps as AAC from iCloud.
Matched songs in your local library don't automatically transcode to 256 kbps AAC. To get a higher quality transcoding, download the matched songs from iCloud.
Thought the kind folks who helped me out (above) deserved a follow-up.

Apple couldn't (officially) help me out converting the "protected" song files I purchased a decade ago when their purchased music was all downloaded in that form -- other than letting me know that subscribing to Apple Music might fix the problem. BUT the dude I was talking to said "Just go to YouTube & search out one of the 3 minute tutorials!"

One buys a single CD-RW disc, then you burn your songs onto that disc (a little more than an hour's music at a time), and then download that disc of music back into iTunes: the songs get downloaded as unprotected files! Then you erase the songs on the disc and repeat, until all your protected song files are downloaded into iTunes as unprotected files. (And then go & delete those troublesome protected files!)

It's a bit laborious & I suspect there's a faster/easier way, but it works.
Laugh. That's awesome advice from Apple :)

Glad you've figured a work around, no matter how convoluted. Hope it doesn't take you too long!

I'd still be tempted (if you purchased them from Apple in the first place) to delete them, and then re download them, and see if the new files are DRM free. Would only take a minute to test on one file, and if it works, saves you a bunch of time.